Sebastian von Hoerner

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Sebastian Rudolf Karl von Hoerner (born April 15, 1919 in Görlitz ; † January 7, 2003 in Esslingen am Neckar , Baden-Württemberg ) was a German astrophysicist and radio astronomer .


Hoerner's father, the painter Herbert von Hoerner (1884-1946), came from Courland from a family originally located in Egerland ( Bohemia ), who had been raised to the Polish nobility in 1568 and registered in 1620 with the Courland knighthood . His mother was the writer Susanne Heintze (1890–1978) from Breslau .

Sebastian von Hoerner married Lisa Müller (born November 22, 1913 in Neusalz in Lower Silesia) on April 28, 1942 in Görlitz , the daughter of the teacher and businessman Fritz Müller and Frieda Lange. From this marriage came his daughter Hanna von Hoerner (1942-2014), who, like her father, devoted herself to astrophysics.


Hoerner received his doctorate in 1951 at the University of Göttingen on a method for studying the turbulence of interstellar matter in physics . With his doctoral supervisor, Prof. Carl Friedrich von Weizsäcker , he researched the formation of stars and globular clusters . He continued this work and studies on the dynamics of star clusters at the Astronomical Computing Institute in Heidelberg under the direction of Prof. Walter Fricke . In 1959 he completed his habilitation at the University of Heidelberg with an investigation into the rate of star formation over time. At the Astronomisches Rechen-Institut he carried out the first direct N-body simulations of star clusters, the results of which he published in two articles from 1960 and 1963.

Sebastian v. Hoerner is one of the pioneers of SETI research and worked for many years at the Green Bank Observatory on the analysis and technical optimization of radio telescopes . He described the principle of homologous deformation in the design of large radio telescopes: instead of trying to avoid deformations when the telescope changes position by stiffening, this is accepted and ensures that the reflector of the telescope returns to a usable paraboloid shape in every position deformed. He was visiting professor at universities in the USA, Mexico, Germany and Switzerland.

He died in 2003 after another heart attack .


Web links

Individual evidence

  1. Hoerner, Sebastian von (1919–2003)
  2. by Hoerner on SETI; Retrieved April 22, 2011
  3. Spectrum of Science Dossier 2002,3, Spektrum-d.-Wiss.-Verl., Heidelberg 2002, ISBN 3-936278-14-8 , p. 80.